2013-06-07 48 -116
In a wooded area north of Highway 2, near the western border of Montana.
- Proceed to Rock Draw Road via Highway 2.
- Secure conveyance and bushwhack to point.
With a busy weekend and messy week approaching, I checked the hash position for a neighboring graticule, hoping it would be less time-consuming to reach. Bingo! The point was not far from a road easily reached by highway.
The drive was rather uneventful, especially after ingesting a caffeinated beverage. Note that in this situation, and many, many others, falling asleep while driving would be distinctly disadvantageous. Once I reached the last road in the journey to the has point, I began searching for a good spot to park and continue on foot. My search yielded an extra bonus, however, when I spotted a logging "road" which seemed to head in the direction of the hash. In this case, the term "road" is used to describe a muddy channel lazily wandering into the woods. In the absence of snow, always remember to span the ruts.
At some point, the state of the road convinced me to turn around in the interest of vehicular safety--so I did, almost becoming stuck in the process. Turnabout completed, it was time to head out into the forested area on my flank. Donning my pack, but deciding to leave the bushgun for such a short distance, I made my way into the unknown.
What at first was a pleasant, but wet, light density tree cover quickly became much more dark and foreboding. Some kind of menacing cross between Little Red Riding Hood's story forest and "our arrows will block out the sun" absence of light. In a short while, I came upon and jumped across the creek in the area. Now across the creek, I was back into medium-heavy woods. While climbing over a downed tree, snapping a branch in the process, I heard movement to my nine o'clock. Halting my advance, I looked over to investigate the cause of the noise. There was, about twenty-five yards from my position, a bear.
At this point, I could only see part of the body. Unsure as to the size or hasher-hungry status of the bear, I suddenly recalled my silly decision to the forest unarmed. Regardless, I continued watching my newly found meet-up participant. The bear moved a little farther away up an incline to get a better view of the funny two-legged creature which had joined it. In its new position, I could see it was a small bear, likely a cub, curiously moving its head in an effort to figure out what I was.
Now, there are two things you should know about bear cubs. 1. They tend to be curious individuals. 2. They are seldom without their fearsomely overprotective mothers. Neither of these things were in my favor. It was at this point I mentally reviewed my expedition plan; at no point did it mention engaging a mama bear in knife-to-claw combat. I made a tactical withdrawal back across the creek before following it a ways and crossing again downstream. With a new sense of urgency, I continued on toward the hash undeterred. As I made my way, I began lamenting the fact I didn't pause to take photos of the bear for the geohashing community. Since I had also left my small point-and-shoot camera behind, I would've had to remove my pack to dig out the dslr, rendering me quite vulnerable. Right about the time I convinced myself it would have been worth the inconvenience of being "greeted" by a bear, I arrived at the hashpoint. The hash landed in a less dense part of the forest with both light and visible sky, so I dug out the camera and did the hash dance.
A few confirmation shots later, I packed back up and began navigating back through the eerily dark woods. When I reached the creek again, this time much farther upstream, I decided it was a good opportunity to get another couple shots. Because there was so little light, I needed to mount the camera to the tripod and use a long exposure time. As the timer on the camera counted down, I heard noise in the brush downstream behind me. I turned to have a look, but could not see anything immediate. Writing it off a nerves, I set up for another exposure. In the still quiet between shutter actions, I heard more movement in the brush behind me, this time more of it. A slightly more studious, though hurried survey once again returned no results. However, being unable to visually identify the source of the noise combined with the very real possibility of having been followed by a curious little bear (not to mention a vengeful mother), it was time to leave. After packing up and jogging back toward the vehicle, another [somewhat startling] geohashing expedition came to an end.
Difficulty Rating 1/5 Annoyance Rating 1/5
Chance of becoming a bear's plaything 40%
| vaiman earned the Land geohash achievement
|vaiman earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
| vaiman achieved level 1 of the Minesweeper Geohash achievement